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iPhone: Pocket God 1.21 - Ooga Jump (Update Out)

07-19-2009, 04:20 PM
Joined: Jan 2009
Location: San Francisco, Ca
Posts: 1,477
Pocket God 1.21 - Ooga Jump (Update Out)

Hey Everyone, we just submitted the Ooga Jump update on Friday. It was a little later than expected because the Bird update came out so quickly and both Allan and I had vacations this week. I was gone for 4 days last weekend at an awesome resort in Calistoga CA called Solage, and Allan will be coming back on Monday from Providence. This break did me good, I was able to relax and came up with some really cool game ideas (not that we have time for a new game right now).

After getting back, I just jammed on the Ooga Jump update. This is our most game-like update yet and I think people will really like it. We basically stuck a Doodle Jump clone in the sky. You drag a Pygmy in the air above the initial cloud line and there are some "platform clouds" that you can drop him on to start the game. There is a Snow cloud that turns the Pygmy to ice that reduces his jump height, there is a lightning cloud that shocks him and sets him on fire for a super jump, there is a wispy cloud that looks almost identical to the other platform clouds but disappears when you touch it and a Doodle Cloud that has a mini Doodle Jump character that shoots at the Pygmy as he is bouncing by.

We also added achievements for 4 levels of distance on the game. The unit of measure is Oogles, about 10 Oogles equals the height of a Pygmy.

Also fixed, is the feint achievement bug, before, if you had a really high score on one of the challenges, you had to beat your high score in order to unlock the achievement in feint. Now it checks all the achievements at the start of the game and unlocks any achievements that should be unlocked.

This week we have had some technical issues we have been looking at, the new 3.0 firmware has a background process that handles mail and push alerts that slow the game down for about 30 seconds every now and then, and we have been struggling with how to fix this. We did a pretty big round of optimizations a month ago so there are no more easy optimizations that we can do in less than a week. I have always considered moving our engine to C++ instead of Objective C which will be a lot faster but we need to rewrite a lot of code in order to do this. Luckily, it seems like the next 3.1 firmware update should improve the speed of their background thread, we had just made the game run like butter on old phones before 3.0 came out, hopefully 3.1 solves this once and for all. And BTW, the 3gs phones run like butter, constant 60 fps no matter what.

Another optimization issue that we've been aware of for a while is that the CPU gets really heavy when you drag your finger on the screen. We disabled all our touch handling code and still see the framerate sinking down to 15-20 fps when you just rub your finger on the screen of the phone. We have our rendering and game logic in a separate thread and it looks like the internal iphone touch detection logic is running 6 times for every game frame. Ideally it should be one to one. I just stumbled on some forum posts in the iPhone Developer forum that hints at some new ways of setting up your main game loop and we'll try experimenting with that the next chance we get.

We haven’t really spoken about the business side of things in this thread, but some interesting developments have been happening this week. We hired a consultant named Jean Mathews in order to help us find companies that are interested in licensing Pocket God for other platforms. The most obvious platform is the other mobile devices but we have been having some really promising conversations with other companies that want to bring Pocket God to platforms you wouldn’t normally expect. We want to get closer to reaching a deal before announcing it, but I think the other platforms we are looking at might have a chance to be bigger than Pocket God on the iPhone.

I'm starting the next update today, we are targeting to submit it be next Sunday. It might be tough because Allan is just coming back tomorrow but we will do our best. It seems like the Apple approval time is at 6 days now and I would love nothing more than to get back on a weekly or week and a half update schedule. The next update, in fact the next 2 updates will be new mini games similar to Ooga Jump. They will both be located underwater. Another hint about this weeks update, it will be another cross promotion update with a really popular game.

Also in the next update will be the introduction of Buddy Challenges. You will be able to challenge a buddy at any of our mini games. Do your best score within a certain period of time and then your buddy will get an opportunity to beat you. All the results will be stored on your Feint profile. Since this week might be crazy, we might do it for only 1 or two mini games at the start but then hookup the rest of the mini games once we get some time.

Some of you might know this but we were nominated for Most Creative Game at AppAdvice. Please vote for us!


edit: oh, did I completely forget to say the next update will include Piranhas?

Last edited by davecazz; 07-19-2009 at 04:38 PM.
07-19-2009, 04:20 PM
Joined: May 2009
Posts: 4,478
Already voted for you

07-19-2009, 04:21 PM
Joined: May 2009
Location: The Golden State
Posts: 5,809
Love the icon

Add me on Steam for TF2: eggzbacon
07-19-2009, 04:22 PM
Joined: Jun 2009
Location: Atlanta,GA
Posts: 427
oh yea!!!!!!!!
07-19-2009, 04:22 PM
Joined: Mar 2009
Location: USA
Posts: 1,944
Wow, this is amazing. Great work, love the progress this app is making.
07-19-2009, 04:23 PM
Joined: Oct 2008
Location: Vancouver, BC
Posts: 1,652
Sweet icon! Can't wait for the update !

 l、 ~ヽ
 じしf_, )ノ Inconspicuous Group Cat?
07-19-2009, 04:24 PM
Joined: Jun 2009
Location: Stuck in Limbo
Posts: 332
Send a message via Yahoo to fluffyguitarist
Sweeeeeeeeet! :d
07-19-2009, 04:25 PM
Joined: Oct 2008
Location: Pittsburgh, PA
Posts: 157
Sounds awesome.

Plus+: noah21c
07-19-2009, 04:35 PM
Joined: Jun 2009
Posts: 16
So now I can just as well delete doodle jump or would that be stupid
07-19-2009, 04:37 PM
Already voted for you, the new updates sound great, really looking forward to seeing how it plays out.

Add me on Plus+ username: trevainsworth